News in 2021

New FIG Publication on Water Governance Challenges in Africa

June 2021

Good Practice for Resilience Planning to address Water Governance Challenges in Africa

This FIG Report, which is no 77 in the series of FIG Publications is prepared by FIG Commission 8 - Spatial Planning and Development; Working Group 8.5 on African Water Governance.

The primary author of this new publication is Professor Richard Pagett with co-authors Prof. Isaac Boateng, Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Dr. Philip-Neri Jayson-Quashigah, and Dr. Kofi Adu-Boahen.

In her foreword, chair of FIG Commission 8, Marije Louwsma writes:

Water is an indispensable resource for society, yet it can also pose threats such as floods or droughts. Water governance seeks to enhance the equal, efficient, and effective distribution of water resources and balances water use between socio-economic activities and ecosystems. Political, social, and economic arrangements can govern the process of water management, which becomes more and more urgent given the impact of climate change and the need for sustainable development.

FIG Commission’s 8 Working Group 8.5 about African water governance has delivered a report addressing the challenges of water governance in urbanised areas in Africa. Lack of water is impacting the ecology, agriculture, and the general economy of most African nations. In addition, poor water governance results in inequitable access to freshwater and unsustainable water usage in many parts of Africa.

It is the purpose of FIG and its Commission 8 to assist the surveying profession in all aspects of spatial planning and development. This report considers some of the social, environmental, political and economic context of water governance in Africa to identify the strategies necessary in terms of resilience, in the face of climate change, population growth and diminishing resources. Cross-cutting socio-economic, systemic and policy challenges in water governance are analysed and critical success factors for managing water resources in Africa are described. In response to the expected impact of climate change the need for strategies to enhance future resilience in water governance is apparent.

This publication of FIG Commission 8 further contributes to seek sustainable pathways for water governance from the broader perspective of spatial planning. The report should help government, decision makers and professionals in Africa and beyond to respond to the major challenges of sustainable water governance, both qualitative and quantitative.

FIG would like to thank the members of the working group and the specialists who have contributed to this publication for their constructive and helpful work.


Louise Friis-Hansen
June 2021

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